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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  January 10, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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together his own investigative committee? he's been down this road before. >> he knows how to do it. you would absolutely agree, and i think it would have started with if there was real sincerity in that, he should have started by asking bridget kelly to come in and explain to him what she did and who was involved. >> okay, linda tender, thank you. i'm "ed show." "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton starts right now. good evening, rev. >> good evening, ed, and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, did governor christie know? today several thousand pages of new documents were released in the investigation of the new jersey bridge scandal. one of the most striking new developments and biggest revelations came from david wildstein, the former christie appointee who refused to testify at a hearing yesterday. the leading investigator says
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documents from wildstein refer to a meeting between governor christie and david sampson, the chairman of the port authority, the agency in charge of the bridge. the meeting took place just one week, just one week before christie's deputy chief of staff e-mailed, quote, time for some traffic problems in ft. lee. the investigator says, quote, by submitting these documents, mr. wildstein is telling us they are related to their -- to the lane closures in some way. the question that demands answering is how. that's a very provocative question. was the christie meeting somehow related to the lane closures? we're going to speak to the assemblyman, asking that question in a moment. also in these documents, we catch a glimpse of a fevered
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effort behind the scenes to keep this story quiet. when the lanes of traffic were reopened, a top christie appointee, who has since resigned said, quote, there can be no public discourse. and on october 1st, two weeks after the lanes reopened, reporters started asking more questions. in this e-mail, david wildstein learned the reporter was, quote, questioning our prior statement on this issue that said the toll lanes were closed because of a test when he has a copy of an e-mail that says otherwise. and wildstein forwarded that e-mail to michael drewniak, governor christie's spokesman. so the governor's office knew there was concern of the fallout. and other e-mails today also show that agency knew how real
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people were being affected. one woman called the agency saying it was clear they didn't, quote, care about their customers, and that they were playing god with people's jobs. her husband was 40 minutes late to a job that he just got after being out of work for over a year. another amazing day of developments, and new scrutiny on whether governor christie knew of the lane closures. joining me now, new jersey democratic assemblyman john wisniewski, who is the leading investigation chair in the assembly into this bridge scandal, and msnbc contributor e.j. dionne. thank you both for being here. >> good to be here, reverend. >> let me go to you first. i want to go right to the chase. the documents show many people were involved. we were told yesterday by the governor it was only a few, but
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there is all kinds of names and documents now. it shows a lot of people. >> there are a lot of people involved. and one of the things we hoped to get yesterday from david wildstein was an explanation about that august 5th communication about a meeting between the governor and david sampson. we wanted to know about the involvement of michael drewniak and other people in the governor's office. obviously you saw we were denied that opportunity because mr. wildstein pleaded the fifth amendment, because he is afraid of criminal prosecution in this event. but what that really shows is a very serious breech of trust here, and that can't be forgiven. >> now the meeting that you're referring to took place before the week before the closures. and for whatever reason, they included that in the documents they handed over to you. >> exactly. >> and the document subpoena was on things relating to the closing. so in effect they're saying that somehow this meeting related to the closings? >> right. we don't know if the meeting happened, but we do know that
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they were scheduling a meeting between dave sampson and the governor. and we do know that it was provided in response to this question, provide us the e-mails that have anything to relate with the lane closure. and so the question that is needing to be answered is what was that meeting about? who else was at that meeting? and what was the outcome of that meeting? >> now, i said that you had the investigation in the assembly, but your power of subpoena runs out on this coming week. >> january 14th when the current legislature expires and we get sworn in for a new term. >> will you be put in the position where that is extended? will they extend so that you and the committee can continue this investigation? >> i'm asking assembly speaker, incoming assembly speaker prieto to grant that authority by allowing a resolution to be voted oven on january 14th that would allow the committee to continue uninterrupted its work there is a lot of stuff we still
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need to look at. any interruption in what we do is going to require us to really go back a few steps instead of moving forward to a conclusion. >> so you're asking the new speaker to extend and allow you and your colleagues to continue to the work that you've already started. >> absolutely. we've come this far. there is no reason to stop or go backwards. >> do you think the speaker will allow this? >> i think so. i think he understands how important this is not only for the people of new jersey, but for public trust. the governor has destroyed public trust by what he has allowed his administration to do. we have to try to get that back. >> e.j., also included in the documents the director of the port authority said about the closure i believe this hasty and ill advised decision violated federal law and the laws of both states. bill baroni forwarded that e-mail minutes later to david wildstein. do you believe it violated federal and state law, e.j.?
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>> well, i am not a lawyer, but i do think that there are severe legal questions involved when you talk about using a public facility for a political vendetta. that's almost the definition of corruption. so i think there is -- there are ample grounds to investigate, to have the u.s. attorney and others investigate this to see if there was a violation. but i think what really becomes clear from the new documents that came out today is that, a, this was a political operation. and b, that they were trying to cover that up. the headline on "the new york times" says "bridge scandal documents indicate effort to hide political motive." and i think that's what it is. and i think the question that governor christie left on the table yesterday -- >> so they're saying in effect that the traffic study was bogus? >> that is what "the new york times" story suggests. and i think the question that governor christie left on the
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table yesterday is why did he wait until the smoking gun came out to try to look into this? why was he not more curious? why didn't he have some urgency about this when two of his appointees resigned? i think that's a question he still has to answer. >> why do you think he was waiting? >> well, there are two possibilities. one, he has denied, which is he knew something about this. the other is he might have had a suspicion there wasn't good here but he wanted it to go away. i guess the third could be he thought this whole thing was so preposterous, how could his people do this. and it surely was preposterous as well as awful. >> well, you know, the governor has said in his two-hour press statement yesterday that he has a lot of people under his charge, and he can't know what everybody is doing. but curiously, he also said i asked my staff, and i gave them 60 minutes to respond as to whether they knew anything. if you have a very large staff,
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it seems almost like you're trying to create no answer by giving them only 60 minutes there is a lot of questions that this governor needs to answer because people very important to him, his spokesman was involved in this. and i find it hard to believe that michael drewniak in all of this time involved in not only talking about the actual traffic jam but the cover-up never once said anything to the governor? >> now, where do you want this investigation to go? you're in charge. where do you want it to go? >> we have two things we have to do. this can't ever happen again. well can't have people using public resources for political vendettas. so this agency has to be drastically recreated. and that's the role of the new jersey and new york legislatures. but we also have to get to the bottom of it so that we can restore public trust. people don't believe government does the right thing most times. and our governor in new jersey gave people ample reason to believe that government is up to no good. >> we're hearing names like bridget anne kelly and other teams.
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will you subpoena any of these names we're hearing? >> i would like to have bridget kelly respond by providing all of her document. s and then come in for testimony. the same with bill spteppian. was nominated for state chair and two days later taken out of that thing. we need his e-mails, documents and then we need his testimony. >> e.j., it seems clear that the governor's press conference yesterday did not put this to rest. >> i think that's right. i think it play have been good enough for the people who were really already committed to governor christie. but i am struck not only -- it's not just liberals or democrats who are raising questions about this there are a lot of conservatives who didn't much like chris christie, not all for good reason, like the fact that he said some nice things about president obama. and i think this is just gives those conservatives who oppose him another reason for doing so. so i think his problem here in terms of politics is as much on
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his own side as it is on the other side. >> i want to go back to something assemblyman that e.j. referred to in "the new york times" story. this power point about the traffic jam that was issued three days after the traffic jam. >> it was never issued. that's the interesting thing. mr. baroni came before our committee on november 25th. and at that time, we asked mr. baroni, was there anything prepared about this so-called traffic study? he said nothing was prepared because we didn't collect enough data. and mysteriously, in mr. wildstein's document submission, we see a power point that was started, but the conclusion page as you saw is blank. >> so mr. baroni told you nothing was prepared. but in the documents turned over by wildstein, you have this power point that was being prepared but not concluded. >> and the power point shows that the people of ft. lee would suffer immeasurably by this plan. >> wow.
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e.j., it doesn't seem like this traffic report is going to be the answer here. >> if you need a traffic study to show you that ft. lee would be jammed with traffic if you shut down two lanes of this bridge, you shouldn't be in the transportation business. i mean, it's absurd on its face. bill bennett, not often quoted on this network, once said that social science involves the elaborate demonstration of the obvious by methods that are obscure. this was a demonstration of the obvious by a method that was unnecessary and probably contrived. >> well, we're going to have to leave it there. but i can say this, that we're hearing more names, more questions, and you heard tonight assemblyman wisniewski saying they want to extension on the time so they can do the work to get to the bottom of this. and he is calling on the speaker
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to let a resolution be voted upon in the new jersey legislature for the new session so he and his group, his other elected officials can continue this investigation. assemblyman john wisniewski, thank you very much for coming. >> thank you, reverend. >> and e.j. dionne, thank you as always and have a good night. >> have a good weekend, reverend. still ahead, one of the big unanswered questions in the scandal, why did it happen? was it really about a power struggle in the state's highest court? also this -- >> i have terminated the employment of bridget kelly effective immediately. i terminated her employment because she lied to me. >> but did she act alone? if not, who gave the order? we'll go live to the state capitol to see who else investigators are looking at. also, scandal? what scandal? believe it or not, the
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right-wingers are trying to make the christie controversy all about president obama. big show tonight. stay with us. [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ] [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. [ m'm... ] great taste. [ tapping ] sounds good. campbell's healthy request. m'm! m'm! good.® to help me become an olympian, she was pretty much okay with me turning her home into an ice rink. ♪ she'd just reach for the bounty select-a-size. it's the smaller, powerful sheet that acts like a big sheet.
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did chris christie's deputy chief of staff act alone? many people that know her well don't think so. we're live outside of new jersey state courthouse in a moment. no, let me get this. seriously. hey, let me get it. ah, uh. i don't want you to pay for this. it's not happening, honey. let her get it. she got her safe driving bonus check from allstate last week. and it's her treat. what about a tip? oh, here's one... get an allstate agent. nice! [ female announcer ] switch today and get two safe driving bonus checks a year for driving safely. only from allstate. call an allstate agent and get a quote now. just another way allstate is changing car insurance for good.
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of the dusty basement at 1406 35th street the old dining table at 25th and hoffman. ...and the little room above the strip mall off roble avenue. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪ it's a key question in the chris christie bridge scandal.
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why did his deputy chief of staff, bridget kelly, wake up on august 13th and send this e-mail to the port authority at 7:30 in the morning? quote, time for some traffic problems in ft. lee. that's the e-mail that led to her dismissal. >> i've terminated the employment of bridget kelly effective immediately. i terminated her employment because she lied to me. i am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here. >> but now many are wondering if bridget kelly really did all this on her own. the bergen record says those who know her describe her as a, quote, hard-working conscientious, and diligent political staffer who balanced the needs of four children with
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a long commute to trenton. in looking at kelly's life and then comparing it to the portrait presented by christie, the pieces don't fit. the issue of where the order came from is being put under the microscope, along with the entire christie political machine. the governor's top team consists of his chief of staff kevin o'dowd, and general counsel, charlie mckenna. they were the two people who questioned bridget kelly before she was fired. and now christie's press secretary, michael drewniak, may face questions as well. over at port authority, two executives have already been implicated in the bridge incident, bill baroni and david wildstein. christie's reelection campaign is also involved. his campaign manager bill
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stepien corresponded with david wildstein via e-mail over the lane closings. so far four of those people have resigned, been fire order punished politically. and the investigations are just getting started. joining me now is new jersey assemblyman gordon johnson and star ledger reporter sal rizzo live from the state capitol. thank you both for being here. >> thank you, reverend sharpton for allowing us to be here today. >> assemblyman, let me go to you first. did bridget kelly order these lane closings all on her own? >> i find it hard to believe that ms. kelly, working in the shadow of chris christie, in his office, in his inner circle would initiate an action, this action that would cause this traffic debacle. >> cal, you know there are a lot of questions remain about
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bridget kelly's role in all of this. "the new york times" reports that for years she was, quote, mid level staff member to a low profile legislator. but in 2009, ms. kelly worked long hours for the christie effort in bergen county. afterwards, many political operatives voiced surprise when mr. christie promoted ms. kelly. can you tell us what you know about bridget kelly? >> i think part of that rise and why it was so stunning was all due to bill stepien. he was the whiz kid who ran the campaign successfully, impressing a lot of people not just in new jersey, but nationwide. in that first campaign when she ran that phone bank in bergen county, a very democratic community, very democratic place. she did very well, you know, bergen county came out almost half and half between corzine and governor christie. you know, that was enough for bill stepien i think to push her
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up the ranks as sort of a protege of his. and that's why she landed where she did. >> now, assemblyman, today on msnbc, the former governor of pennsylvania, governor ed rendell said he doubts kelly acted on her own. watch this. >> i was a very hands-on governor like governor christie. my deputy chief of staff, whose desk was 25 feet from mine, would never have done something like this without my clearance, without asking me for prior approval. in a month of sundays, would never have contemplated doing something like this. i can't imagine anybody worked for a strong governor like chris christie would have done it. >> so he is basically saying what you said. and i've also heard other people say they're not even sure that people would have listened to an order like this from a deputy chief of staff. maybe they would have inquired around somewhere where this was coming from. >> to confirm that she has the authority to put this out.
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exactly right. >> what kind of questions, and what are you looking to ask? and who do you want to talk to? >> i like to see ms. kelly come in and testify before the transportation committee and just to find out so she can tell us exactly where this order came from, and exactly where this idea came from. as i said before, i do not believe that she initiated this action. and for the governor to say he wasn't aware of what was going on, i find that very hard to believe also. when, if i can give you a quick timeline there, on october 16th, senator loretta weinberg goes to the meeting at the port authority inquiring about this traffic tie-up, what was going on, asking for some answers. she did not get it. november 13th, senator weinberg, assemblyman wisniewski and i go to the meeting.
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same thing again, inquiring about this, no answer. december 4th, same thing. well go there to a monthly meeting, no answer. december 6th, wildstein resigns. now the commissioners from new jersey, sampson, bagger, pacino, shuber and steiner, three of them were put there by the governor. >> three of the commission? >> right. they were nominated by the governor. they must know him. they didn't pick up phone and say we have a problem here. we have elected officials inquiring about this alleged traffic study. i find it hard that they wouldn't call. one, wouldn't call and tell his office that these people are here inquiring. i just don't understand it. >> now, let me ask you, sal rizzo, you mentioned stepien, and how he was the whiz behind the campaign. tell me about him. and in your opinion, could he have ordered this? >> i don't know whether he
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ordered it. that remains to be seen. and i think the investigation continues -- >> did he have the clout? >> sure. anyone could have ordered it that is mentioned in these e-mails or the people that you just showed on screen. but it's hard to tell with what we know right now. but yes, he was a strict enforcer for the governor on the campaign trail. and, you know, just in the political, you know, retail go to this town, go to that town, see what we can do here and there, just in the day in and day out of government. so he was someone who was very involved, who knew everyone at the local level, who knew every ground game in the republican politics in new jersey. and he is someone who would have been, you know, i think very aware of something like this if he was running the governor's campaign with eyes and ears open. >> the governor nominated for three of these individuals. the governor clearly had people now than we knew were involved in this.
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is it conceivable to you that none of them would have come to the governor and said any of this was a problem? >> it makes no sense. you have elected officials attending their monthly meetings, asking questions, and no one picked up a phone to say hey gov, this is on the radar. fyi or something. i just don't -- these are all intelligent people. so i don't -- i can't comprehend that. >> we're going to have to leave there it. assemblyman gordon johnson and sal rizzo, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> thank you. coming up, why did they do it? it's a question everyone is asking. why did they order traffic problems in ft. lee? there are some new theories developing. and one has to do with what christie was doing hours before the smoking gun e-mail was sent. and an amazing twist in story. will christie's chief of staff,
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in a timely fashion and within budget. angie's list members can tell you which provider is the best in town. you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare. now that we're expecting, i like the fact i can go onto angie's list and look for pediatricians. the service providers that i've found on angie's list actually have blown me away. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. the right wing, the whole christie bridge scandal is no big deal. rudy giuliani said it's nothing more than a little prank. >> politically stupid thing, political pranks that turn bad, all that other stuff, every administration -- don't tell me this doesn't happen in the obama administration, the clinton administration, the bush administration. >> see? it's just kids stuff. i mean, who hasn't shut a bridge down? and if the right is not busy
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dismissing the scandal, they're ignoring it. on the day the scandal broke, fox news spent less than 15 minutes covering the story. and when they did finally get around to reporting it, suddenly christie's response was a lesson in leadership. it was responsibility 101. in fact, the obama administration should be taking pointers because republicans know this chris christie scandal is all about one thing, president obama. >> the administration holds no one accountable, not when it comes to the botched obama care roll-out, the irs enemies list, the nsa spying scandal. and remember fast and furious? well, that controversy, nothing happens there. so they may want to rethink this attack on the new jersey governor. >> when you look at the president of the united states, he says i didn't know anything about the affordable care act
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website, i didn't know about the irs, the doj, benghazi. >> we're spending now an hour press conference on lane closures on the george washington bridge. we haven't spent this much time in a press conference on four americans dying in benghazi. >> does not compare to the scandals that are plaguing the obama administration. >> with all the right wing, with the right wing, all bridges lead to one place, blaming president obama. joining me now are jesse macintosh and joe madison. thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> thank you for having me. >> joe, let me start with you. how did the christie bridge scandal get to be all about president obama? >> i really don't know other than everything is about president obama with them. i don't care what it is. it's again part of the campaign to discredit him. but this is what i want everyone
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to please understand, and we had almost two hours of conversation on our show, reverend sharpton. and that is that this could have been a national security disaster. this is what everyone kept telling us, that this bridge is the only way to get into manhattan with major trucks. for example, since 9/11, trucks can't go through, and you know this better than i do, the tunnels. so this is an issue of national security. and i am absolutely disappointed and amazed that the former mayor of new york would say this is nothing but a few lanes being closed down. now, i expect that from rush limbaugh. but the mayor who was there at 9/11, he knows exactly the significance of any chaos on that bridge. >> now, let me go back just to
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my introduction when i talked about the right -- the president could learn a thing or two from christie's leadership. listen to this. >> could washington learn a thing or two about what leadership really looks like? we report, you decide. chris christie really indicated to many what leadership looked like after facing a crisis. >> see, now what president obama would have done, according to the past history with this administration is rather than fire somebody, he would have just allowed them to retire. >> or promote them. >> i mean, leadership lessons? he could have learned from chris christie? are we looking at the same situations here? >> no. i hope that chris christie takes all of his running for president advice from rudy giuliani. i think that would be just fantastic. but you kind of got to feel bad
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for them. the republican party has been in the wilderness when it comes to leaders. and chris christie was sort of their last best hope at a savior. so yesterday christie talked a lot about the five stages of grief. and i think right now we are seeing the republican party go through denial. that's not going to last very long. they're not going to be able to keep putting up the wrong tag line and the wrong chiron and pretending that failure is leadership and up is down, no matter how good the republican party is at pretending black is white and women are better off without equal pay and americans are better off without health care. they're really good at cognitive dissonance. but i don't think this one is going the last. >> but joe, what is interesting to me is how they're trying to mix apples and oranges. >> yes. >> with all of the questions that they raise about president obama and members of his administration, we're talking
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about whether officials intentionally. >> that's right. >> with no other circumstances that fed into it, went out to do something that harmed and affected the public. they're talking about situations that people could have been inept, could have been incompetent, could have made a mistake, but not intentionally planned something that would negatively affect the public. they're trying to mix apples and oranges here like we're stupid. >> absolutely right. let's take the roll-out. everyone admitted, everyone admitted inside the administration, the press, he stood right there in front of the american people and said look, i'll take the blame for this. i should have known. we had anton gunn. >> you're talking about in terms of the roll-out. >> yes. >> that's my point, joe. no one is alleging that someone conspired to mess up the
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roll-out. we're talking about people here that allegedly conspired to make something happen that did not naturally happen. you're comparing that to something that might have messed up, not that somebody conspired to mess it up. >> because you look at that memo. you really have to be crazy. when somebody sends a memo that says it's time -- >> exactly. >> to screw with somebody, i mean, i'm paraphrasing, you know, that's on purpose. that states a purpose. that's -- and that's why it's not going to fly. because when the president knew that people had screwed up, you want to talk about leadership, anton gunn told us that after the president got through yelling at us, he told you going to fix this. those of you who broke it through whatever reason, incompetence, you didn't know what you're doing, no, i'm not going to fire you, you're going
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to get in there and fix it. and that's as much leadership as anything else. >> jess, my point is there is no allegation that somebody woke up at 7:30 this that morning and called and said let's mess up the website. it's mixing apples and oranges. >> obamacare is a program designed to help people. >> thank you. >> there was never any good intention to shutting down lanes on the gwb on the first day of school. so apples and oranges from the very beginning. but i think also there was a real leadership contrast. the president didn't come out and make jokes about how he was the one writing the code. chris christie came out and pretended that this was funny. people's days were messed up. there were emergency situations that couldn't be handled as well as they needed to be because of this. and he came out and joked about it. i think that one of the reasons why we're seeing the republican reaction and the flailing that we're seeing is because this scandal is the republican party. it is all about tone and not about substance. it is all about politics and not
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about people. we heard more about chris christie's workout routine yesterday than we did about the people whose lives were affected by the lane closures. and republicans always focused on style over substance. it's why they liked christie in the first place, and it's ultimately going to be their downfall. >> i'm surprised -- >> got to leave it there, joe. sorry. thank you so much. joe madison and jess mcintosh, thank you both for your time this evening. >> have a good weekend, reverend. still ahead, is it possible that chris christie's chief of staff will become the top law enforcement official in new jersey? it's amazing and very possible. hey guys! sorry we're late.
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it's one of the most amazing parts of this amazing story. and it's about governor christie's top aide. his name is kevin o'dowd. governor christie's chief of staff and his long-time friend. in the chain of command, he was one of just two aides who reported directly to christie. he was bridget kelly's boss. and he's one of just two aides who last month interviewed staff about who knew what before reporting back to christie. christie says o'dowd assured him
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no aides were involved. but here is the twist. just last month, christie nominated kevin o'dowd to be the state's new attorney general, the top law enforcer and top law officer in the state of new jersey. o'dowd is due to go before the senate judiciary this tuesday. so bridget kelly's boss could be in charge of this investigation. sound like a conflict of interest? not to governor christie. >> do you think this could have an impact you should put on hold kevin o'dowd's nomination to being the attorney general since he was chief of staff and would probably be involved in setting the tone? >> absolutely not. kevin's confirmation hearing will go forward on tuesday. and i expect, you know, he'll be vigorously question like any candidate for attorney general should be. and i suspect that he'll get
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swift and certain confirmation because he deserves it. >> so either kevin o'dowd was lied to by staffers, and he knew more than he told the governor. either way, he could be running an investigation into what happened in the scandal inside his office. joining me now are new jersey state senate democrats nick scutari an bob bueno. senator bueno ran for governor last year against christie. thank you both for being here. >> good to be here. >> senator, on tuesday governor christie has his chief of staff being -- having the confirmation hearing in front of your committee. you are chairing that committee. is that going to go forward? >> no. no it's not.
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we've already decided that for technical reasons -- >> wait a minute. it's not going forward? >> not going forward. we've already decided that a delay would be in the best interest of everyone involved, the people of the state of new jersey, and for a variety of reasons, the new senate has to be reconstituted on tuesday. before that time, i can't even officially schedule the hearing. and then, you know, just because of scheduling matters, it just would be impossible to hold the hearing on that day. when i originally anticipated that the hearing was going to go forward on tuesday, we didn't really understand the scope of how long this hearing might go. so obviously, there is going to be a heck of a lot more questions now than there would have been just a couple of weeks ago when we were anticipating the hearing. >> now, so you saw me play the tape yesterday. the governor said this hearing is going forward, and you're saying tonight as chairman of the judiciary committee, that hear willing not happen tuesday. >> that's correct. luckily for us, we decide when those hearing go forward. in the state of new jersey, the
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governor makes nominations, but we have the advice and consent power when and if a hearing is scheduled for any gubernatorial nomination. >> could you imagine as chairman of the judiciary, and i'm not asking you to prejudge anything, but could you imagine him being confirmed before all of this was aired out? >> well, i want to take a measured approach to this because of my personal dealings with this individual during his time in the christie administration have been straight forward. but on the other hand, we could not and cannot ignore the fact that unfortunately for him, his name, although his name has not been mentioned, he is at the center of it by virtue of his position. so it deserves a full vetting. >> senator buono, when you ran last year against governor christie, you certainly raised a lot of questions that you now got to be looking at people, saying that obviously there is some management, if nothing else questions about how the state
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has been run. >> well, the governor is either lying or he is incompetent. and neither of those are good alternative for this governor. let me tell you, back in september when we knew of these lane closures, i know chris christie. i've dealt with him for four years. he knows everything that is going on. he has a representation for being retaliatory, for being petty, for being thin-skinned. i knew he was behind this. but what really surprised me was the tenor of those e-mails. you know, they were almost gleeful. the one wildstein i think it was, he said oh, don't worry about the children. they're the children of buono voters. >> you mean that people voted for you against governor christie last year. >> yeah. the abject disregard, callous disregard for the people of new jersey. >> now, by what you know of him having known him four years and had to work with him, do you
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think that it is possible that all of this could have happened and no one mentioned anything to him? >> it's so absurd. i can't even find the adjectives to say how absurd that is. this is a guy who runs his administration like a paramilitary operation. it's very, very structured, very disciplined. the orders come from the top down. these kids don't go to the bathroom unless they ask chris christie's permission. so to suggest that his chief of staff did something without asking him, to suggest that michael drewniak, his top communication guy for years didn't talk to him about this is just absurd. and that's why we need a federal investigation into it. >> senator, obviously the whole world is looking at this. this is front page in croatia. you're the head of the senate judiciary committee in the state. what do you want to see happen here and how are you going to help try to guide from your part
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where this goes? >> obviously, a full vetting of the facts. and there is so much more information that needs to be garnered from all the individuals that seem to have played a part in this. i mean, obviously the voters and the citizens of new jersey deserve answers to the myriad amounts of questions that have arisen as a result of these e-mails that has to happen. and i don't think anyone that is involved, including mr. o'dowd, i think he understands that there needs to be a full vetting of the facts. although he hasn't been mentioned to date and no one has been pointing the finger at him particularly, there continues to be questions and problems at this point in time. >> let me be clear again. you are delaying the o'dowd hearing on tuesday. when do you think it may happen? >> well, we haven't set a new date in consultation with the senate president and members of the committee, we'll continue to have discussions on this. and we're continuing also to talk to the administration and mr. o'dowd himself to see what would be the appropriate time to conduct the hearing. i mean, in everyone's best interests, it might not be
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appropriate to go forward. we can certainly start a questioning process. but then to take a vote is a little bit more difficult. >> let me ask you, senator buono, do you think your colleagues would vote to confirm o'dowd before all of this has been thoroughly put to rest? >> well, i know my colleagues. i've served in the senate for 12 years. i trust their judgment. and they are particularly -- particularly this chairman and the judiciary committee take their jobs, take their responsibilities very, very seriously. and i can't imagine them taking that to a vote before all of these other factors are settled. >> big news here tonight. tuesday is canceled, at least for you, mr. o'dowd. new jersey state senate democrats nicholas scutari and senator barbara buono, thank you both for your time and have a good weekend. >> thank you. >> thank you.
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for justice. on february 1, 1960, franklin mccain and three other college students walked in to a woolworth's store for lunch in greensboro, north carolina. they sat at the whites only counter and politely asked for service. they were refused and told to leave. but they remained seated for the rest of the day. this single moment of civil disobedience ignited a movement across the nation that challenged racial divides and attitudes. a few years ago, mccain talked about how he saw change begin that very day. >> there was a little old white lady who sat maybe five or six stools down from us. she walked behind us and put her hands on our shoulders. so she said in a very calm
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voice, boys, i am so proud of you. i only regret that you didn't do this ten years ago. >> an amazing story. a reminder of how progress begins in the hearts of all of us. franklin mccain died last -- late last week. he was 73 years old. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. sleeping bear. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. the big story of governor christie's two-hour defense yesterday is what he didn't say. why did a governor of his state, a man with clearly with hi

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